Common Paint Problems: Blistering

Solutions to Common Paint Problems and Causes of Paint Blistering

The tell-tale bubbles of paint blistering are usually due to a loss of adhesion in areas, and the subsequent lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.


Common paint problems such as blistering can be caused by any of the following:

  • Solutions to Common Paint Problems and the Causes of Paint BlisteringApplying solvent-based paint over a damp or wet surface.
  • Moisture seeping into the home through the exterior walls (less likely with water-based paint).
  • Exposure of the water-based paint film to high humidity or moisture shortly after the paint has dried – especially if the surface was not adequately prepared.


If the paint blisters do not extend all the way down to the base material,

  • Remove the blisters by scraping and sanding.
  • Repaint the surface with a quality acrylic, water-based interior paint.

If the blisters do extend down to the base material,

  1. First locate and remove the source of moisture (if possible).
  2. Repair loose sealants and consider installing vents or exhaust fans.
  3. Finally, remove the blisters by scraping and sanding, followed by a coat of the appropriate primer.
  4. Finish it off with a top-coat of quality acrylic water-based interior paint.

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Blistering is one of many common paint problems that may result if there is an issue with the painted surface. View our Common Paint Problems page for more information and step-by-step DIY solutions.

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